This blog detests grey squirrels. It regards them as vermin, which have driven out the native red, one of the lovliest mammals on earth. Encouragement is given to anyone who cames up with a plan to eradicate them. Well, Mr Martin Wright of Stafford has come up with a humdinger of a plan - Cajun Squirrel Crisps. It seems that Walker's Crisps have chosen Martin's idea, along with five other flavours to go on sale for a trial period of six months. I consider it the moral duty of anyone who shares my love of the natural wildlife of Britain to seek out Walker's Cajun Squirrel Crisps, and buy them in great numbers. And to hold Squirrel Crisps Parties, in the way we used to hold Ann Summers and Tupperware parties - that's 'we' in the sense of the British people. If you delve into the hgistory of Welshpool, you will see that this plan may work.
I don't suppose many of you remember Phil Lewis who used to keep the Vaults Pub in Welshpool's Broad Street during the late 70s/early 80s. For a festive joke, he began selling Hedgehog Crisps in the pub. What started as a bit of a snigger, and perhaps a line or two in the equivalent of Nelson's Column in today's County Times, grew into a laugh so loud that the whole world shook. A food manufacturing company called Hedgehog Foods was established, hundreds of workers were taken on, and the product was exported to all corners of the earth. Some spikey official from the trading standards department became involved - because Phil wasn't using actual hedgehogs. Maybe he couldn't catch enough of them.) Anyway, Phil found some gypsies who had genuinely eaten hedgehog, and they helped him match the flavour as near as possible. For some reason the trading standards man was happy when the name was changed to 'Hedgehog Flavour'. Lots of money was made and some of the profit was donated to St Tiggywinkles, a home for injured and sick hedgehogs.
When I was a young man, hedgehogs were everywhere. I remember setting out one pitch dark summer's night, intent on catching a rabbit with my bare hands. My plan was to sit next to a rabbit run, in absolute silence, like a heron waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting passing rabbit. I had an excellent sense of hearing in those days - but it turned out to be a hedgehog. I leapt back in agony, with the hedgehog impaled on my hands, or vice versa. Took me days to dig the spines out of my fingers. My pointis they were that common. And now I never see a hedgehog. I'm not sure that it was the crisps that did for them, but Cajun Squirrel Crisps must be worth a try.